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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Whole30 Completion

OK, here we go. All done with the Whole30. Got myself weighed with one of those fancy scales at the dietitian's office that includes body fat % and water etc. I'll get to that in a bit. First of all, I want to run down the list of all the things Whole30 was supposed to do for me besides the weight loss, since that's technically a secondary effect. There's an extremely long list of things it's supposed to help (most of them hinging on whether it was an issue for you in the first place, like joint inflammation) I'll just focus on the things I wanted to see improvement in.

1. TARGET: An (Unhealthy) Relationship with Food
    "The Whole30 rules are carefully crafted to quash your cravings (specifically for
sugar and empty carbohydrates), identify your food triggers, and teach you to find
other sources of comfort and reward, so that you are in control of your food, and not
the other way around."    

Did it do this? I'd say yes, mostly. I have a horrible time with willpower. The only times I can say no to a piece of birthday cake is when I have a reason not to (like when I'm on hCG or Whole30). I missed only 2 things majorly in the last 30 days. That was creamer in my coffee and gum. I also kind of missed bread. Not for the sake of bread, but for the versatility of making sandwiches! I've stopped using artificial sweeteners like crystal light in my water, so that's a plus. It's working out pretty good.

2 .  TARGET: Sleep
       I have trouble staying asleep. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep, but this is directly related to whether I end up napping on the couch in the evening, which is correlated to my energy levels, which I will mention next. Did it help my sleep? No. But I don't think diet has anything to do with my sleep. My issue is my body being unable to regulate my temperature. I have to freeze out my bedroom in order not to wake up at 2am bustin out like I have a fever. If I can get into that sweet spot between 58-60 degrees, I usually sleep pretty well.

3. TARGET: Tiger blood
     This is what the program calls this burst of energy you get when your body finally realizes that fat is a good source of fuel and it slow burns it so you have energy all day long. Did I get this? Definitely not. This is disappointing, because my energy levels were the biggest thing I wanted to improve. Honestly though, it may have helped and I hadn't noticed, because this program had me prepping, cooking, and cleaning my life away. I literally had no time to do anything else in the evening. It was draining. So maybe I DID have energy, and I feckin' used it up doing that crap. But I still took long naps on my couch. Which caused me to make it hard to fall asleep at night, which cut the amount of sleep I got and made me tired during the day... vicious cycle, which happens regardless of my diet. I did fine without coffee, I only drank it when I had a crappy night's sleep the night before. But I wasn't bouncing up and down with energy like I thought I would; which sucks.

4. TARGET: Improved nails
     A-HA! Something that worked! I was having horrible peeling layers on my nails that I couldn't stop no matter what I did. It was so frustrating, and I couldn't use nail polish because the acetone would make it worse. So, something in my food choices has drastically improved my nails. What it is I have no idea, though. Could be increased intake of Vitamin E, or my protein sources (I'm usually not a consistent meat eater). I know that I was able to stop taking my Iron supplement because I was getting enough in my diet, so that's awesome. I didn't see any improvements in my skin but my skin isn't necessarily "bad" to begin with. Hair would probably take 6 months to notice any difference. But, even with washing all my dang dishes by hand due to needing to use them constantly, my nails are still perfectly healthy. It's a miracle. 

So, after all that, what about my weight?!



2 lbs lost.

Okay, it's not as drastic as I'd hoped, but to be honest, anything is better than nothing. I struggled with this stagnant weight not moving for months on end regardless of exercising, and my body finally let go and I lost a couple of pounds. Now, not all the 2 lbs was fat, some of it was water, and fat-free mass (which is other stuff), but still. It's movement. That's what matters. And that's eating until I'm full. That's eating a lot of fat. Mayonnaise, and tartar sauce, and ranch dressing. 

Fat is not your enemy. Fat helps keep you satiated. It has stopped me from being hungry between meals. It has stopped me from constantly thinking about food; about that cake in the break room. It stops me from eating when I'm not hungry because YES - THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING FULL AND BEING SATIATED. I can not overstate this enough.  It's the difference between bored eating, and not caring that you have chips in your cupboard. So, I have learned a valuable lesson through all of this. I'm not going to avoid all fat. Obviously eating brisket all day long is not ideal - but I'm talking about dressings, sauces, lean meats. Don't avoid the fat. Use it to your advantage!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Whole30 Update

I'm pretty sure I'm losing weight! This is cray. I'm not allowed to check though, because the creators believe that weight loss is a secondary effect of the plan and figure that people will get discouraged if they're not dropping any weight and quit, and they don't want that. Neither do I, but I'm used to abstaining anyway. I've had this messed up mentality that I don't want to see what I weigh because I'll be disappointed, so I just don't ever weigh myself.

I'm almost done with 3 weeks out of 4. I haven't experienced this so-called "tiger blood" yet, which is what they call it when your body figures out that fat is a good source of fuel and starts burning it. It's a constant, all-day burn, as opposed to sugar that lights up like gasoline and then it's gone. I'm not lethargic at least, so I've noticed a slight peak, which is nice.

The food is really good, but it's really taking up all my time prepping, cooking, and cleaning constantly. The hardest part is having to make your own sauces because everything they sell in stores has sugar in it. I can't even find horseradish sauce without sugar and it should just be grated horseradish -_-.

Sweet potatoes have saved me. I'm so glad that I like them because they are basically in every recipe they offer. They use them as a sweetener and a binder. They're in everything from the salmon cakes to the BBQ sauce (yeah, I know. It's weird. I'd suggest skipping that recipe). 

I'm constantly making sweet potato oven fries, and using their garlic aioli for a dipping sauce. Add that as a side with a protein and you've got a meal that won't just fill you up but satiate you. There's a big difference. I've been focusing on nothing but calorie intake and trying to keep it healthy, and I lost sight of hunger. My nutritionist just kept telling me to go off and do something and ignore the hunger but it was really hard. Now I'm not counting calories at all, which is very nice. I eat until I am full, and I stay full until my next meal. I don't think I've ever felt this before - not on purpose anyway. It's like magic. 

I will share one recipe with you guys, one that I absolutely love. It's called Mexican Tuna. I eat it for breakfast because I can prep it a couple days ahead of time and it doesn't need to be reheated (most breakfast-y items are off-limits for the Whole30... their mantra is anything can be eaten for breakfast, even dinner! I'm getting used to it.)

Mexican Tuna boats

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
2 cans (5 ounces each) tuna, drained
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Juice of 1½ limes
½ jalapeño, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1 head endive or romaine, separated into leaves

IN a medium sized bowl, mash the avocado with a fork, leaving it slightly chunky.
Add the tuna to the bowl, flaking it apart with a fork, and mix to combine with the
avocado. Add the onions, juice of 1 lime, jalapeño, cilantro, chili powder, salt, and
pepper and mix well.
SPOON the tuna mixture into the endive leaves. Sprinkle a dusting of chili powder.
Squeeze the juice from the remaining ½ lime over the top and serve.
MAKE IT A MEAL: While there are some greens in this dish, you’re lacking serious
veggie power. Try serving the lettuce wraps with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Gazpacho,
or raw carrots, bell pepper strips, and celery with Avocado Mayonnaise for dipping.

So to save the headache of making boats or a wrap, I just chop up the romaine and mix it in with the tuna. It may seem like a lot of food, and trust me, it is. But I eat a serving of this with sweet potato fries in the morning and I am riding on a full belly all morning. It's great.

I'll make sure to give you guys an update when my Whole30 experience is over!